By Kazim Alam, The Express Tribune
KARACHI: With imports of plastics raw material worth $1.2 billion in 2010, Pakistan’s requirement of such material has been increasing at a rate of 3.7% annually, German exhibition organiser Fairtrade Messe Managing Director Martin Marz said on Tuesday.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the 10th International Plastics and Packaging Industry Trade Fair and the 9th International Food, Beverage and Packaging Technology Trade Fair, Marz said imports of plastics, printing and packaging machinery and equipment were worth $212 million in 2010.
“According to German Trade and Invest, the plastics machinery and equipment industry is worth $1.4 billion in Pakistan,” he said.
About 100 exhibitors from 19 countries are displaying their machinery and technology at these exhibitions, which will continue until September 6. The fairs were jointly organised by Fairtrade Messe and Pegasus Consultancy at the Karachi Expo Centre.
The German Engineering Association estimates that Pakistan imported food processing and packaging equipment worth $108 million in 2010. According to the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics database, the Pakistani food and beverage trading industry had a value of $6 billion in 2010. The figure includes food imports of $2.49 billion and food exports of $3.49 billion.
It also estimates that Pakistan’s imports of food and beverages increased from $1.77 billion in 2009 to $2.49 billion in 2010, a rise of 40.7% in one year.
“The sheer volume of $6 billion food trade underlines the need for a top quality international trading event,” Marz added.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) estimates that Pakistan imported plastics and articles thereof worth $1.68 billion in 2011. Plastics imports increased at an average of 31% annually between 2007 and 2011.
Within the plastics category, the largest share of imports was of polymers of ethylene, which amounted to $506 million in 2011, up by 8.8% compared to 2010.
Similarly, Pakistan imported paper and paperboard worth $527 million in 2011 with an annual growth of 6% between 2007 and 2011. Notably, the increase in paper and paperboard imports between 2010 and 2011 was 20%.
“This synergy will provide an excellent platform for decision-makers from Pakistan’s plastics and food industries to get in contact with new suppliers,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5, 2012.